10 Forms to Try When You’re Stuck During the Slice of Life Challenge #sol19

It’s inevitable in a 31 day writing challenge: at some point, you’re going to get stuck. You’ll sit down to write, and there will be nothing. It will be clear that you have never had anything to write about before–and even more clear that you will never have anything to write about again.

On those days, I like to use some kind of form to inspire a piece of writing. Here are 10 that I might try this year:

An Abcedarian Poem: each line starts with a different letter of the alphabet. See Fran’s #TCRWP Reunion Abcedarian Poem for an example.

5 Things to Do More Often. Elsie Tries Writing comically imagines the list her husband would create for her then writes her own.

They’d See But Wouldn’t Know. If someone walked into your home and looked around, what would they see but not know? Leigh Anne’s version of this form inspired so many slices last year, and I hope it will be back this year.

So Much Depends Upon. Fall Hugs borrowed William Carlos Williams’s opening line and created a series of short poems.

Currently. I allow myself one Currently each March and I save it up, waiting for just the right day. But there are so many different versions, you could easily use it more than once.

TBAs. Aggie’s Truths, Beauties, and Appreciations is a great format for a day when you need a little more positivity and gratitude in your life.

By the Book. The regular New York Times book feature has inspired several slice formats. Catherine focused on one question: What’s on Your Nightstand? or see the longer set of reading questions at The Hyphenated Life.

If You Really Knew Me. Rita shares a fun introduction format for early in the month.

3 Things I Can’t Do Without. Deb’s list of 3 Things I Can’t Do Without was so generative it inspired mini-slices in the comments.

100 Word Story. Trina shares several resources for 100 word story mentor texts and crafts her own.

And a bonus:

Six Word Stories. If 100 words feel like too much, try some Six Word Stories.

What’s your favorite format for a day when you’re stuck?





10 responses to “10 Forms to Try When You’re Stuck During the Slice of Life Challenge #sol19”

  1. karpenglish Avatar

    This is such a great post. I am back in the classroom this year and feeling a bit overwhelmed (I was hired the day before inservice started and have been running to catch up ever since!), so I was waffling a bit about signing up to slice this March. Your post gave me some solid starts for boring days or exhausted days or the days when I get home late, my kiddo needs help and attention, there’s no food for dinner, and I need three hours of prep to be adequately (read “overprepared perfectionist ready”) for the next morning. I am re-inspired and know I can do this!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      So glad you think you’re in! Had to laugh at the “overprepared perfectionist ready” comment. I am pretty sure I have at least ten years worth of lesson plans that I’ve never even gotten around to teaching because I’m always so overprepared! I saved most of these slices last year to borrow for inspiration and then never got to most, so I’m glad to know I still have plenty of new ideas to try this year for those bored and exhausted days. See you Friday!

  2. margaretsmn Avatar

    I’m glad to see some forms I haven’t tried yet. I’ve saved your post to go back to when I get stuck. Poetry is my all time “go-to” for writing.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      And I always find so many ideas from your slices!

  3. Trina Haase Avatar
    Trina Haase

    This is so helpful! Thank you for rounding all of these up…and thanks for the shout out!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      You’re welcome! You inspired several of my slices last year!

  4. Ramona Avatar

    Wonderful ideas! Tucking them away for one of those days when they will come to the rescue.

  5. Another Spin of the Writing Wheel | The Daily Meow Avatar

    […] For Elisabeth’s list of great ideas, take a look at this post: Amazing list from thedirigibleplum […]

  6. aggiekesler Avatar

    Thanks for the shout out! Also…great list to refer to when we inevitably end up with writer’s block. 🙂

  7. #SOL19: Day 4 SOLSC | Resource - Full Avatar

    […] (And a reminder if you get stuck, from the Dirigible Plum, “10 Forms to Try When You are Stuck During the Slice of Life Challenge.” […]

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